Wednesday, 7 April 2010

L'Afrique c'est chic

I am who I am
Not because of the colour of my skin
Not because of the accent in my voice
Not because of where I’m from
The poverty you say defines me
The corruption you say influences me
The wars you say I’m out to fight
The fraud you say I’ve mastered
The chip you say I carry on my shoulder
No I am who I am
Not because of how much I have in my wallet
Not because of the tribe I belong to
I am who I am
Not because of the languages that roll on my tongue
I am who I am
Not because of the scars not visible to the eye
Not because of the graciousness of my walk
Not because of my gender
Not because of my alumni
Not because of my political affiliation
Not because of personal affliction
I am who I am
Because of the essence of me
Because of my worth, my voice,
My education might mould

Who I might become
But what makes me unique is
the soul of me!
The soul of an African

*Vent Alert!* '

I always say this – I am a product of Zimbabwe and child of Africa. I’m sick and tired of the view the foreign media gives us Africans! Yes, we have our problems but please come on…Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children, The World’s Most Dangerous Place for Women, Welcome to Lagos, Blood and Oil, Unreported World: Nigeria’s Killing Fields. Now I cried watching Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children for I never went through that as a child, my Zimbabwe childhood memories are precious and watching The World’s Most Dangerous Place for Women I shed more tears for raping a 3year old is just evil! But, I’m sincerely upset, real mad like Joe Jackson (thanks ‘Ye) because I know there’s much more to Africa than poverty, corruption, rape and all these negative things being shown by the mainstream media!

Why won’t they do a programme on Africa’s Wealthiest People without mentioning corruption and how unfair it is for them to live such a lifestyle whilst the masses suffer? Patrice Motsepe, Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, Onsi Sawiris, Kofi Annan, Boutros Boutros-Ghali (I used to love saying his name as a kid..)? How Africans are investing in their countries?How educated we are? Or maybe as Africans we should do a programme on how some London Boroughs are still using mass graves to this day till an African baby was dug out and eaten by a fox?

'Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek'. Barack Obama

We as Africans need to dispell the single story or rather multiple negative stories and right now my mind is in overdrive, now I'm wishing I'd done a film and media course! Hmmm summer school maybe? For we know, they won't do it for us, we NEED to do it OURSELVES! My dearest readers, bloggers and friends, let's rise up, and show them we are not from a 'dark continent! but that L'Afrique c'est chic.

*Please excuse any typos, grammatical errors - this is an improptu piece - so if my prose isn't flowing...apologies!*

Following publication of this post, LondonDiva and I have set up a Facebook Group which you can join if you feel the same way as we do. This Facebook Group is just the beginning - once we are the change that we seek!!


kookie said...

Here bloody here! Africa is more than we have seen portrayed! We who have grown up (even briefly for salad children like me) OUR AFRICA has more talent, potential, passion and general beautiful complexity than this constant played out story of war, hunger, drought, poverty, corruption, AIDS and multiple wives. These issues are like the movie star who always gets the spotlight for playing the role of tragedy so well. Can the growth, the beauty, the varied positive stories of africa have a STARRING role for once?

This post if it was on facebook I would click on that like button faster than you know!

Scarlet said...

It never ceases to amaze me how Africa is always potrayed in the media. Absolutely appalling. So many people are ignorant of Africa as a whole and depend on the media to tell them what Africa is like.
While we are on the subject i wish the media and the world as a whole would stop potraying "Africa" as if the whole continent is one big country. I have and will continue to tell people off for thier ignorant views about Africa, even my counsultants at work have not been spared!

Lara said...

Worst is when fellow Africans support this bashing of the continent. They never show us the good side of our continent.

Really Love this and love the Obama quote.

Jaycee said...

I definitely concur. And Africans sometimes absorb all these media representations about themselves and get to a place where they don't feel strong enough to portray themselves in a better light. This is even sadder...

Super star! said...

your comment made a bit of sense until you quoted obama. but why? just because his black?

I would like to ask an important question though, outside the purposely apt remark above. what if i see myself more as an individual rather than as an african? and then care very little or more on other individuals whether or not they are african.

Funms-the rebirth said...

I love the depth of this post. i was sad when London diva talked about an upcoming BBC program, Welcome to Lagos.
im tired of all these foreign stations depicting African as the devil's homeland and a place of suffering. enough is enough. There;s so much more to us. oh they never mention the great accomplishments and things that happen. all they talk about is the negatives. God help us

Myne Whitman said...

You know I just finished watching a show on BET with Kirk Franklin in Lagos for his Sunday Best auditions. And it was really good. No propaganda there, he was just catching his fun. It sounded and looked like Lagos was just another state in the US, auditions in Denver, Philadelphia, Lagos. That is the kind of shows we should support. All those supposed 'news' reports, SMH.

zimchic said...

I love this post- I always complain, and yet lately I have stopped. Because I do nothing about it, so I kind of feel like I have no right. In my early years I wanted to do international development, till I realised that I am not rich enough to indulge in that career option, and my father could not understand why I would volunteer to go to any war zone to increase my prospects of a career in international development. I know that saying- become the change you want to see- but living up to it is another thing. I am here in London working for the machine and boosting this economy because I am not brave enough to go home and face the music.